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How To: Run Your Heating Efficiently

It’s that time of year. In households across the country, one family member is reaching for the thermostat while the other is telling everyone to “just put another jumper on”. The thermostat wars are a common occurrence in most households, but the fact is, the temperature on your thermostat will make no difference to the rate at which your home heats up. Here’s how it works, and how you can make your heating run efficiently.

The Boiler

In a conventional heating system, your boiler is obviously the most important part of your heating system. It heats water to a set temperature; this water is then circulated to your radiators, which radiate the heat into the room. The overall efficiency of your boiler will depend on the age and type; generally, older boilers are less efficient and lose more energy during the heating process. However, the temperature at which you set your boiler to heat water has an impact, too. If you set the boiler to high, it will produce much hotter water, which means that it will heat your home more quickly. However, this comes with a price; it takes more energy to heat the water to a higher temperature, which will lead to higher gas consumption and higher bills.

The key to energy efficiency is to avoid setting the temperature on the boiler higher than you need it.

The Thermostat

As families across the nation argue over the function of the thermostat, Trust A Trader is here to set the record straight. Your thermostat controls the temperature at which your heating is switched off. So, if you have your heating on (via your boiler), and your thermostat is set at 20⁰C, the heating will stay on until that temperature is reached. If your heating is set to come on for an hour, it will go off after an hour regardless of whether or not that temperature has been achieved. If your heating is set to be on permanently but the temperature in the room is higher than the temperature set on the thermostat, the heating won’t actually come on. However, if the temperature drops below the level set on the thermostat, hot water will start flowing into the radiators and continue to flow until the desired temperature is reached again. So, setting your thermostat higher won’t make your house heat up more quickly, it will just stay on for longer.

Can you tell the difference between 19⁰C and 20⁰C? Lowering your thermostat by just one degree can save the average family £60 a year.

To begin saving energy on your heating, turn both your boiler and your thermostat down a notch or two, and allow your heating to run for a little longer, gradually heating your home to a comfortable temperature instead of being caught in the quick-heat; too-hot; too-cold cycle that comes with blasting heat out as hot as you can as soon as you get home from work.

Next week we talk about other steps you can take to heat your home efficiently; follow Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter for more information.

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